Welcome to the improvisational kitchen – the funniest way to cook! Well, the most practical way to approach cooking. I like to think of my home chef practice as a “Yes, and…” improv style where any vegetable goes. We want to support our players here. Learning how to cook with what you have is an amazing skill that makes Iron Chef the coolest flipping battle you’ll ever stream. Improvisational cooking takes the seemingly random ingredients in your pantry / fridge and through resourcefulness, creativity, and trial + error transforms them into something edible. Literal kitchen magic! If you’ve ever added pickles to something that maybe didn’t need pickles consider yourself a dang wizard.
Growing up there was not a lot of food readily available in my house. Things were often stretched pretty thin and my dear mum, bless her, had a short repertoire of things she could cook. It fell on me and my younger sister to make dinner happen. Being given that sort of culinary freedom at such a young age was amazing. I could make a dinner for 4 out of 1 potato and some old tea leaves. Kidding, but that was the feel. I felt empowered to feed my family out of whatever ingredients we had available, like I was contributing in a real, creative way that nourished us through to the next day. What a fun kid I was!
It was scrap cooking in its earliest days for me. Before I had the language to identify it, I was intuitively making it happen. Whether or not that’s true for other folx, I believe that this form of preparing food should be accessible and easy to connect with for everyone. Improvised cooking is an important skill to start / continue your low impact journey. Let’s jump into some easy ways to start improvising in the kitchen!